From angina and arrhythmia to cardiac arrest, cardiomyopathy and heart failure, there are a number of different heart conditions which can indicate that the heart is not working properly. Many forms of heart disease can be prevented by living an active and healthy lifestyle. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at small and consistent changes that you can make to your way of life to help improve the health of your heart.
- Consistent and Healthy Diet
In 8 out of 10 cases of premature heart disease, cases are preventable through healthy lifestyle behaviours[i]. That means many risk factors for heart disease are in your power to control if you eat a healthy diet. Heart-healthy choices can help lower your risk of heart disease, whether eating at home or dining out.
Here are some healthy choices that you can make:
- Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables
- Choose wholegrain options when eating bread, rice, oatmeal or quinoa
- Choose for foods full of protein like fish, lean meat, beans and lentils, tofu and dairy products.
What changes will you make to your diet?
- Regular Exercise
Not only can regular activity help you lose weight, but it can also help you live an overall healthier lifestyle, improve your cardiovascular system, slow the aging process, sleep better, and even reduce stress. When in combination with one another, these factors can help improve your heart health.
Try to make physical activity a part of everyday life. If you’re not big on the gym, think about gardening, swimming, cycling, cleaning, or yoga as your form of daily exercise. Get family, pets and friends involved for support and companionship.
- Know the Signs
Signs of a heart attack or distress can vary and may be different for men and women, if you experience any of these signs, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number:
- Chest discomfort – pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain, burning or heaviness
- Upper body discomfort – neck, jaw, shoulder, arms, back
- Shortness of breath
If you think that you may be at risk of a heart attack, speak with your physician to ensure that you’re well aware of the symptoms and are doing everything that you can to improve the health of your heart.
- Living a Stress-Free Lifestyle
Think about what is causing you stress and eliminate or alleviate the cause if possible. If not, learn how to use a coping skill. A great coping mechanism is to simply open up and talk about how you feel. Often talking to friends, family or co-workers can help you feel better.
Take time for yourself every day, whether it’s going for a walk, reading a book or enjoying a hobby. Eat healthily and exercise regularly to keep your body and mind in tune as well.
Taking preventative measures to ensure a healthy heart can include eating well, being active and living smoke free. Reducing stress in your life and maintaining a healthy weight are all important factors in preventing a heart attack.
For more information about how you can prevent heart disease or other conditions, speak with your physician or local pharmacist.
- Improving Risk Factors
Some unhealthy habits can put you at risk for heart attack or heart disease, including eating junk food, living a sedentary lifestyle or simply not exercising, smoking, and excessive drinking. Many risk factors are within your power to control. Take control of your health by quitting the unhealthy habits and introducing healthier ones in their place.
Here are some simple changes you can make right now:
- Quit smoking: there are many aids to help you quit smoking for good, speak with the experts at your local pharmacy or your physician to find the best one for you.
- Lower alcohol intake: cut your alcohol intake by at least 50% and replace with healthier activities, such as going to the gym, drinking soda water with lemon at dinner, or taking on a home improvement project.
- Get active: investing in a fitness tracker can help empower and motivate you to get off the couch and walk, exercise or engage in outdoor activities, like hiking or cycling.
- Commit to a healthier diet: ditch the junk food and opt for healthier options, like apples, cauliflower, celery, oranges, salmon, chicken, or quinoa.
Hubbard Pharmacy in St. Marys
For treatment, diagnosis or health
management, always speak with a physician. To find out more about heart disease and ways to improve heart health,
Pharmacy today at 155 Queen
Street East in St Marys, Ontario.